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ND Highway Patrol working with local law enforcement to halt "fleeing"

Law enforcement agencies have seen increased numbers of motorists who flee when officers attempt to stop them.

Because of that, the North Dakota Highway Patrol has been participating in special enforcement details in Bismarck, Fargo and most recently Minot. The patrol uses aircraft, which are outfitted with a camera system that can observe and track targets both visually and in infrared from several miles away.

"Law enforcement agencies, within the last two to three years, started a 'no pursuit' policy in towns," said NDHP Sergeant Jeremiah Bohn of the Patrol's Northwest Division. "As a result, we have seen a big uptick in vehicles not stopping to the red lights on patrol cars, when we try to stop them."

Bohn said drivers have caught on to this “no pursuit” policy – and some drivers in rural areas around cities are heading into the cities because of that.

Bohn said with the planes in the air, there’s been some success with catching fleeing drivers. And he said the “deterrent” factor is very important.

"It really triggered our motivation when we started seeing high school kids doing it, because it's fun — not because of them trying to get away with something," Bohn said. "We knew we had a problem with word-of-mouth. So we definitely had to get it out there, that you're definitely going to get caught."

Additional aircraft enforcement details are being planned.